San Diego State University
AFRL ML-RCP Partner Institution Strengths & Capabilities Survey
Associate Vice President Research Advancement
1. Please select the research areas in which your institution currently engages.
2. Please note, in detail, any research areas of strength not listed above. This may include fundamental sciences (e.g., math, physics, biology, etc.).
3. Are there any emerging areas of research your institution is actively seeking to develop?
SDSU’s future directions are presently best summarized by the areas of focus anticipated for the new Mission Valley Innovation District. The SDSU Innovation
District will include roughly 1.6 million square feet of office, technology, and research space located adjacent to the stadium to activate the space and create an incubator‐like feel to the area. In partnership with public‐private partners, the Innovation District will provide collaborative research partnerships and create more opportunities for public engagement and interaction with public and private industry partners.
Developed primarily through public‐private partnerships, the SDSU Innovation District will facilitate internships, create new educational experiences, inspire innovative discoveries, advance technology, and foster new research.
The interdisciplinary focus areas anticipated are: Health Education Innovation (including public health and equity in clinical trials); Climate Resilience and Sustainable Energy (including environmental justice), Transportation, Aerospace, and Security (including logistics, livibility, and cross‐border commerce), Cyber and Digital Technology (including AI/ML), Global Futures, Social Justice and Innovation (including social entrepreneurship), and Media and Entertainment (including production and journalism).
4. Does your institution have any internal research centers or participate in any research consortia?
San Diego State University has more than 70 robust and active centers and institutes that serve as collaborative and innovative nuclei of research, scholarship, and action. Many of our centers and institutes work in partnership with Southern California governments, agencies, non‐profits corporations, and universities. Others have a global reach that spans five continents.
Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience (CCN)
Karen Emmorey – firstname.lastname@example.org
Scientists in the Center for Clinical and Cognitive Neuroscience have broad and extensive expertise in the neuropsychology and neuroscience of a number of developmental conditions, including autism spectrum disorder (ASD), fetal alcohol spectrum disorders (FASD), and attention‐deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).
Brain Development Imaging Laboratory
Center for Behavioral Teratology (CBT)
Laboratory for Language and Cognitive Neuroscience
The Language and Neuroscience Group (LANG)
Center for Functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging
Computational Science Research Center
Jose Castillo – email@example.com
Its mission is to promote the development and advancement of computational science by bringing together researchers in different areas who have a common interest in modern scientific computation.
An InSAR processing system based on GMT
XSEDE systems using Globus gridFTP
Linux SMP systems
CalREN‐DC (Digital California) network
Center for Earth Systems Analysis Research Lab (CESAR)
Douglas Stow – firstname.lastname@example.org
This EPA‐USDA sponsored project aims to quantify the water and sediment budget of an urbanizing watershed on the US‐Mexico border. Two models are linked to estimate sediment production, one from the hillslope (AnnAGNPS) and the second from the stream channel (CONCEPTS).
Communication Systems and Signal Processing Institute (COSSPI)
Satish Sharma – email@example.com
The Institute seeks to advance the state‐of‐the‐art in communication systems through research, scholarship, education, service, and outreach. The Institute conducts research, development, and design work, and serves as a vehicle for fostering collaboration and scientific exchange between industry and academia. Through corporate and government sponsorship, the Institute supports faculty, graduate students, visiting scholars, and engineering professionals engaged in this field.
Development and implementation of Digital Signal Processing (DSP) algorithms
Development, prototyping and evaluation of ASIC, mixed‐mode, and FPGA based digital signal processing systems
Source Coding for speech, audio, still images, and moving images
Multimedia and computer networks; internetworking
Analog and digital converter architectures
Phase‐locked loops and frequency synthesizers
RF devices and integrated circuits; their performance characteristics
Software radios; receiver and transmitter architectures
Waveform design for communication and sensing/detection applications
Modulator and encoder design for multiple‐antenna (MIMO) communication
Signal integrity and power integrity
Numerical electromagnetics for simulation of interconnects and IC packages
5. Please provide a list of relevant facilities and equipment.
On‐Campus Core Facilities operated on Recharge
Wind Tunnel – Ping Lu, firstname.lastname@example.org
Electron Microscope Facility - Robert Zeller, email@example.com
FEI Tecnai T12 TEM S/N D351
FEI Quanta 450 FEG SEM S/N D9380
Keyence All in One BZ‐X810 model
Zeiss Primo Star light microscope with a digital camera
Daylight Solutions/DRS SperoQT mid‐IR microscope S/N20
Meiji polarizing light microscope model MT
CESAR Lab (GIS and cartography) – Fernando Bosco, firstname.lastname@example.org
Vivarium – Jeffrey Roberts, email@example.com
Flow Cytometry Core Facility – Anca Segall, firstname.lastname@example.org
Magnetic Resonance Imaging Facility – Jeffrey Roberts, email@example.com
Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Facility – David Onofrei, chem‐firstname.lastname@example.org
6. Does your institution have a relationship with any other academic institution or research organization(s) that enables your access to their facilities and equipment?
Many regional institutions (e.g., UCSD) have the capacity to offer facility and equipment access on a recharge basis. However, many facilities are already severely impacted with requests for services, so there can be significant time delays.
Moores Cancer Center at UCSD
As a National Cancer Institute (NCI)‐designated Comprehensive Cancer Center, we hold the highest possible rating for a U.S. cancer center. This designation is reserved for centers with experts in every medical subspecialty, pushing boundaries to improve approaches for preventing, diagnosing and treating cancers. SDSU affiliated faculty have full access to MCC facilities, equipment, and clinics.
7. Has your institution collaborated with Department of Defense in the past?
Below is a partial list of current Air Force‐funded projects at SDSU. These are a small sample of projects and collaborations with a variety of DOD components.
Learning in Multi-Scale Models with Stochastic Source Coupling, PI Gustaaf Jacobs, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Birth and control of three- dimensional Lagrangian separation: Optimal control, PI Gustaaf Jacobs, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Empirical wavelets, deep learning for image restoration: Application to atmospheric turbulence mitigation, PI Jerome Gilles, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Hierarchical Assembly of Spider Silk Proteins: Exploring Structural Biology of Biomaterials from the Atomic to the Mesoscale, PI Gregory Holland, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Mobility-Adaptive Cross-Layer Protocols for Airborne Networks with Single-/Multi-Beam Directional Antennas, PI Sunil Kumar, Air Force Office of Scientific Research
Harnessing Methanotrophic Bacteria for REGAIN: Rare Earth Element Gleaning from Alkaline Tailings, PI Marina Kalyuzhnaya, AFRL
An acoustic modeling system for physics-guided machine learning: enabling acoustic detection and tracking of targets in adversarial environments, PI Zahra Nili Ahmadabadi, AFRL
8. Is your institution involved in any federal STEM funding efforts?
SDSU received nearly $165M in grants and contracts, 75% of which is either directly from a federal agency, or a pass‐through of federal funds via a collaborating organization. Below is a partial list STEM *training* programs that are designed to enhance education, workforce development and career success in STEM disciplines.
Supporting STEM research and graduate education in Georgia; building on current partnerships and relationships in Georgia, PI Walter Oechel, US Department of State
Stable Manufacturing of Advanced Powder Components by Ultra-Rapid Pressure- and Field-Assisted Sintering, PI Eugene Olevsky, Minority Serving Institutions and STEM R&D Consortium
Seeing Virtually: Toward a Vision of Teaching Physics in 3-D Space, PI Matthew Anderson, NSF Division of Information
and Intelligent Systems
Project SOAR – STEM Opportunities in Applied Research. PI Eugene Olevsky, The San Diego Foundation
Secondary English Learner STEM Content Access, PI Saul Maldonado, UC Santa Cruz
SDSU HSI STEM and Articulation Program, PI Emilio Ulloa, US Department of Education Office of Postsecondary Education
9. This program requires documentation (i.e. theses, dissertation, presentations, etc.) to go through the AFRL public affairs review process. Would this present a challenge for your institution?
Research Administration and Compliance
10. Does your institution have an office of sponsored programs?
11. Does your institution have an approval process for seeking extramural funding?
12. Does your institution accept federal award dollars and manage standard fiscal reporting, and compliance requirements?
13. Does your institution provide guidance to PIs for budget development?
14. Does your institution offer proposal development services?
15. Does your institution offer research development services, e.g., assistance with finding research funding, proposal management, team formation/development, etc.?
16. Does you institution offer research compliance training and education, i.e., roles and responsibilities of principal investigators?
17. Does your institution have a designated Export Control Officer?
18. Is your institution registered with the US State Department Directorate of Defense Trade Controls?
19. Does your institution currently perform Controlled Unclassified Information (CUI/ NIST 800-171 compliant) research?
20. Does your institution currently perform research subject to the International Traffic in Arms Regulations?
21. Does your institution have a DoD Facility Security Clearance (FCL)?
No. SDSU does not. However, our grants and contracts auxiliary the San Diego State University Research Foundation does, but we still do not allow any classified research on SDSU or RF property. SDSURF holds security clearances for project staff that work at one of the DOD installations in San Diego - e.g., NIWC.
ML-RCP Program Expectations
22. The objective of the AFRL ML-RCP is to enable and enhance the research capabilities of the HBCU’s/MSIs through collaborative research efforts with AFRL. What would be necessary for you to receive to meet this objective?
SDSU faces special challenges as a research institution in the California State University System. Because of founding state legislation for the California state systems (CSU and UC), SDSU receives no state allocation to support research activities. To make this challenge concrete, all of SDSU’s research infrastructure pre/postaward, all compliance infrastructure etc. is funded via F&A collected on grants and contracts. That same infrastructure in at the UC campuses is funded by the UC system, which means that a large proportion of F&A (or indirect) goes directly to the institution for re‐investment into research building, equipment, and other onetime infrastructure. SDSU benefits most from programs that fund resources not typically grant funded: 1) equipment – and the maintenance and operational personnel to optimize the utility of the equipment; 2) administrative support – SDSU faculty are dedicated to the teacher/scholar model, which means research active faculty are typically teaching two courses per semester. Faculty at institutions with a similar research profile are often teaching one course per year; 3) Support for faculty lines – the innovative NIH Faculty Institutional Recruitment for Sustainable Transformation, which fully funds faculty in a small number of targeted research areas for four years, has truly been transformational in our ability to focus faculty hiring and development along the topics where we have aspiration, and foundational expertise. In this model, NIH funds faculty salary for the first four years of the program. We (SDSU) collect and allocate permanent state‐funded faculty lines to those faculty so that at the end of four years, they are fully transitioned to state funding. This approach allowed us to hire a cohort of 11 strategically aligned faculty and make a quantum leap in our research and scholarship related to environmental health, epidemiology, and public health education.
These are the things we most need: 1) equipment and operational staff; 2) permission to allocate federal funds to administrative staff in support of project management and execution; and 3) innovative ways to accelerate faculty hiring and development in strategic areas.